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Estate Administration

The Administration of an estate can be extremely complex and overwhelming for an Estate Trustee.

 An Estate Trustee, commonly called an Executor, is the person who is responsible for ensuring that the terms of a deceased person’s Last Will and Testament are carried out.

At LaPierre Law Office Professional Corporation we provide the support and guidance Estate Trustees require to carry out the terms of the individuals Last Will and Testament. We generally meet with an Estate Trustee to review the terms of the Will and to outline the areas of responsibility, including the need to report to Canada Revenue Agency, payment of debts, and whether an advertisement for creditors will be necessary.

LaPierre Law Office Professional Corporation can assist an Estate Trustee at any stage in the process. For example, we can prepare the application for Certificate of Appointment and the various supporting documents required by the court in order to issue the Certificate of Estate Trustee, (with or without a Will). We can assist in dealing with insurance, investment, or pension companies and other financial institutions. We can also prepare documentation to pass title to property and prepare release forms from all estate beneficiaries.If appropriate, LaPierre Law Office Professional Corporation can assist in preparing a to-do list with the Estate Trustee to outline their responsibilities and provide details about the responsibilities of their lawyer.

The Solicitors Role in Estate Administration.

The solicitor’s role in the administration of an estate is as extensive or as minimal as is agreed upon with the Estate Trustee. What follows is a list of the duties that are typically performed by the estate solicitor.

  • Review and, if necessary, interpret the Last Will and Testament;
  • Prepare the application for Certificate of Appointment of Estate Trustee (with or without a will) for signature by the Estate Trustee, if necessary;
  • Prepare notarial copies of Last Will and Testament, Certificate of Appointment, Transmission Applications, when necessary;
  • Assist the Estate Trustee in preparing accounts for the estate;
  • Prepare releases for the beneficiaries to sign, releasing the Estate Trustee from future liability after administration completed and estate
  • distributed.

The Estate Trustee’s Role in Estate Administration.

The Estate Trustee’s duties are typically administrative in nature. However, many Estate Trustees involved in an estate for the first time are completely unaware of the scope of their responsibilities. It is the duty of the estate solicitor to ensure that the Estate Trustee is aware of the extent of their newly acquired duties, and of the options that are available to obtain assistance in the performance of those duties.

The Estate Trustee’s responsibilities typically include the following:

  • When there is a Will, make funeral arrangements;
  • If there is no Will appointing an Estate Trustee, the funeral is the duty of the next-of-kin;
  • Determine, locate and notify beneficiaries of their interests;
  • Locate, value and secure the assets of the estate;
  • Retain the professional services of an Estate solicitor, chartered accountant etc., if necessary;
  • Determine the debts of the deceased and pay them after settlement, if necessary;
  • File tax returns, pay taxes owing, and obtain appropriate tax clearances or releases;
  • Maintain proper accounting records and prepare statements periodically for the beneficiaries to advise them of the progress of the estate administration.

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